Gastroenterologists say, ‘Fatty liver disease (excessive accumulation of fat in the liver) is a common liver condition. It occurs among people who consume alcohol regularly. It can also occur in people who are obese and/or diabetic. Excessive fat deposits can cause swelling of liver, inflammation, and cirrhosis.’
They also add that ‘If left untreated, the condition can lead to liver failure or necessitate transplantation. The only way to avoid this complication is the prevention of fatty liver by avoiding alcohol and adopting a healthy lifestyle. One should increase the intake of proteins and green leafy vegetables. Exercise is also essential to improve the functioning of the liver.’
Causes of liver disease:
* Unhealthy lifestyle and eating patterns
* Hepatitis A, B and C infections
* High intake of alcohol and consumption of food rich in cholesterol
* High BMI (body mass index), which is associated with Type 2 diabetes risk
* It can be inherited or genetic
Symptoms of liver disease and liver cancer:
* Sudden weight loss
* Decrease in appetite or a feeling of fullness after a small meal
* Nausea and vomiting
* General weakness and fatigue
* Pain in the upper abdomen (right side or near right shoulder blade)
* Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly)
* Enlarged spleen
* Abdominal swelling (ascites)
Tips for a healthy liver:
* Adopt a healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet.
* Eat grains, proteins, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and fats. Include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, apple and walnuts in the diet.
* Eat fiber-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, rice and cereals such as quinoa, millet, and buckwheat
* Ensure safe blood transfusions to avoid contracting hepatitis A, B, C
* Maintain personal hygiene
* Avoid tap water when traveling
* Say ‘No’ to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
* Exercise regularly
What is liver transplant?
* Liver transplantation is the last stage of cure. It is replacing a diseased liver by a healthy one.
* The success rates in these transplantations are high and affected people can return to normal.
* Although this could be a solution, it costs a hefty sum to the common man.